Google Warned to Expect Large Fine from EU

Terry Olaes

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In a follow up to yesterday's news about Google's antitrust woes with the EU, Google was warned by an EU regulator that the European Commission "intends to set the fine at a level which will be sufficient to ensure deterrence." Microsoft has paid over US$2Billion in several antitrust-related fines since 2004, including a record $1.2B in 2009. Will that be the over/under for Google's fine?

The EU’s patience with Google ran out after three settlement bids failed to satisfy critics, who said the owner of the world’s most-used search engine was wielding its power over search results to unfairly promote its own services and paid ads. The EU has been probing allegations since 2010 that Google’s search page isn’t fair when people seek services online.
 

kbrickley

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Hey, someone's got to pay the salaries of all the European bureaucrats ... and much better to stick it to the American companies :cool:
 

Kardonxt

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Where to these fines end up anyway? It should be the consumers effected or the companies harmed by unfair practices right?

I assume that's not where it goes....
Seems crazy to have the power to say, "You broke the law when you hit that guy with your car. I wasn't involved, but give me a billion dollars so you don't do it again."
 

tunatime

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google should say f it and pull out of eu and see how the people like it it would be a good experiment to see if the people would demand them back or just say f it
 

Gorankar

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I have not really been following this. Did Google actually do anything wrong, (like with Intel), or is this just another EU cash grab, (like with MS the second time).
 

nilepez

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google should say f it and pull out of eu and see how the people like it it would be a good experiment to see if the people would demand them back or just say f it

That fine would be huge, but Google will make more than that, in the EU, in a single quarter.
No company is going to cut off its nose to spite its face.
 

RogueKitsune

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The EU seems to be really hurting for cash after trying to bail out Greece. What better way to get that money than to fine a successful American company.
 

pxc

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The best part of these fines is how unrelated they are to any supposed damages. There's not even a pretense of justice, due process or damages proportionate to any losses. :rolleyes:
 

dgz

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Where to these fines end up anyway? It should be the consumers effected or the companies harmed by unfair practices right?

I assume that's not where it goes....
Seems crazy to have the power to say, "You broke the law when you hit that guy with your car. I wasn't involved, but give me a billion dollars so you don't do it again."

Well then, I guess you don't expect cops to show any interested in a crime unless it was committed against them. Are you against laws and governments in general, or is this just about hating on evil Europe because EC is dares to subject American companies to the same rules everyone else is expected to follow.

Threads like these tend to bring some of the worst posts on this forum. Some really dumb shit.
 

pxc

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or is this just about hating on evil Europe because EC is dares to subject American companies to the same rules everyone else is expected to follow.
That's not the problem at all. It's the arbitrariness of the supposed violation, determined solely in a closed process that does not even pretend to rise to the standard of justice. It's applied unevenly (flagrant violations by EU based companies... no problem!) and does nothing more than fine companies for behavior which is not generally illegal and does not change the competitive environment at all. It's a pathetic grasp for relevance by a union which does not lead in anything. Congrats!
 

GoldenTiger

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I have not really been following this. Did Google actually do anything wrong, (like with Intel), or is this just another EU cash grab, (like with MS the second time).

Nope. Just the standard, "You did well for yourselves and are successful, our local companies are annoyed that they cannot compete. So, we will fine you an inordinate amount of cash to bail them out by applying double-standard 'rules' because life's not fair, and well, we know you'll help us make it fair since there's not much you can do about it if we force you."
 

wyqtor

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As a European I support this. The US is also trying to help its own companies at our expense (they wanted to force TTIP on us). Extort away!
 

dgz

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That's not the problem at all. It's the arbitrariness of the supposed violation, determined solely in a closed process that does not even pretend to rise to the standard of justice. It's applied unevenly (flagrant violations by EU based companies... no problem!) and does nothing more than fine companies for behavior which is not generally illegal and does not change the competitive environment at all. It's a pathetic grasp for relevance by a union which does not lead in anything. Congrats!

May I ask for some facts in support of your claims that laws are applied specifically targeting US companies guilty of the crime of being US companies?

Not saying it's not happening, though. The EU is not an actual true and fair union. Not even close to being a nation.
 

OEM

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Everyone is bashing the EU, but at least they actually fine people. Unlike us here in the US when a company makes billions off of illegal charges on a bill they get charged half a million. The company sees that as the cost of doing business. But fine them for billions...that'll get their attention.

The difference here, at least, is that in America government is owned by corporations...so you aren't going to find the people lining your pockets.
 

LBJM

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As a European I support this. The US is also trying to help its own companies at our expense (they wanted to force TTIP on us). Extort away!

The EU workers don't even work as much as Americans do. You guys could build your own search engine, oh wait that would take too much WORK.

For those that like pretty graphs

http://www.businessinsider.com/aver...for-americans-vs-the-rest-of-the-world-2013-8

http://www.voxeu.org/article/americans-work-long-and-strange-times
 

OEM

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Everyone is bashing the EU, but at least they actually fine people. Unlike us here in the US when a company makes billions off of illegal charges on a bill they get charged half a million. The company sees that as the cost of doing business. But fine them for billions...that'll get their attention.

The difference here, at least, is that in America government is owned by corporations...so you aren't going to find the people lining your pockets.

Keep in mind, I'm not supporting what the EU is doing if this is a bullshit fine, but at least they have the stones to actually make it hurt.
 

pxc

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May I ask for some facts in support of your claims that laws are applied specifically targeting US companies guilty of the crime of being US companies?
Why would I offer support for that? That's not what I claimed. :rolleyes: :eulogic:
 

Damar

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The sad part is, no matter how high the fine, Google will simply dig through its couch cushions for loose change and pay it and be no worse off in the long run.

That's how it is for most corporations and why they have no real reason to care if they get caught doing illegal or shady things, since the fine is never enough to offset the gains they make in the first place.
 

Kardonxt

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Well then, I guess you don't expect cops to show any interested in a crime unless it was committed against them. Are you against laws and governments in general, or is this just about hating on evil Europe because EC is dares to subject American companies to the same rules everyone else is expected to follow.

Threads like these tend to bring some of the worst posts on this forum. Some really dumb shit.

Chillax buddy you are assuming an awful lot just because I would like to know where all this money ends up lol. Not sure who pissed in your cornflakes today.

I could care less about EU vs US laws and no I think cops should do their jobs. You see, if I commit a crime lets say.... hit someone with a car in keeping with my example. Well then I go to jail and most likely have to pay the victim or their family some sort of damages and probably court fees too. Which makes sense.

What doesn't make sense is if I just have to give the government a fine, walk free, and the victim / their family don't get anything. Then it kind of seems like the government just wants money and doesn't really care about the victims they are "protecting".
 

dgz

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Why would I offer support for that? That's not what I claimed. :rolleyes: :eulogic:

You are right, I am sorry. You didn't claim it but your presentation somewhat implied it I think.
 

dgz

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Chillax buddy you are assuming an awful lot just because I would like to know where all this money ends up lol. Not sure who pissed in your cornflakes today.

I could care less about EU vs US laws and no I think cops should do their jobs. You see, if I commit a crime lets say.... hit someone with a car in keeping with my example. Well then I go to jail and most likely have to pay the victim or their family some sort of damages and probably court fees too. Which makes sense.

What doesn't make sense is if I just have to give the government a fine, walk free, and the victim / their family don't get anything. Then it kind of seems like the government just wants money and doesn't really care about the victims they are "protecting".

Hey, I wasn't sure and had to ask. I have to agree with your theory in general but who's going to keep the all money raised by fines without clearly identifiable "victims"? How about speeding and parking tickets, or a load of other everyday stuff? I'd like to hear more about the society you're talking about.
 

aShrubbery!

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The EU seems to be really hurting for cash after trying to bail out Greece. What better way to get that money than to fine a successful American company.

My main contention lies in the fact - like others pointed out - that the ones hurt by Google's practices will not likely be seeing a dime from all these fines, not that a "successful American company" is being targeted. Especially since some of those companies who initially complained were US companies as well.

So, by all means keep whining about Google's "misery" and bring your little flag when answer the call to 'take a bullet' for ol' Google.
 

aShrubbery!

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The EU workers don't even work as much as Americans do. You guys could build your own search engine, oh wait that would take too much WORK.

For those that like pretty graphs

http://www.businessinsider.com/aver...for-americans-vs-the-rest-of-the-world-2013-8

http://www.voxeu.org/article/americans-work-long-and-strange-times

Don't forget the constant threat of dismissal, if you fail to perform in the US. Heck, don't even dare calling in sick!
And if you get paid time off, better keep your hand off it, unless you want to get the boot in the long run.
That's something pretty graphs don't show!
 

Parmenides

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Don't forget the constant threat of dismissal, if you fail to perform in the US. Heck, don't even dare calling in sick!
And if you get paid time off, better keep your hand off it, unless you want to get the boot in the long run.
That's something pretty graphs don't show!

We get paid time off, you just need to answer your phone and be willing to remote in.
 

nilepez

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Chillax buddy you are assuming an awful lot just because I would like to know where all this money ends up lol. Not sure who pissed in your cornflakes today.

I could care less about EU vs US laws and no I think cops should do their jobs. You see, if I commit a crime lets say.... hit someone with a car in keeping with my example. Well then I go to jail and most likely have to pay the victim or their family some sort of damages and probably court fees too. Which makes sense.

What doesn't make sense is if I just have to give the government a fine, walk free, and the victim / their family don't get anything. Then it kind of seems like the government just wants money and doesn't really care about the victims they are "protecting".

Actually using your own example, you would likely get a ticketed for one or more violations and none of that money goes to the person you hit.

If that person wants money (and I guess we're assuming you don't have insurance, though that's not in your example), they would have to sue you for it, but you'd get yet another fine for not having liability insurance (in most, if not all states).

So your example is not unlike what may happen to Google.
 

nilepez

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We get paid time off, you just need to answer your phone and be willing to remote in.

If you remote in, you're working, so it's not time off. I can promise if I call in sick, I'm almost certainly not working that day.
 

DiabloRojo

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The EU workers don't even work as much as Americans do. You guys could build your own search engine, oh wait that would take too much WORK.

For those that like pretty graphs

http://www.businessinsider.com/aver...for-americans-vs-the-rest-of-the-world-2013-8

http://www.voxeu.org/article/americans-work-long-and-strange-times

This is so true it's scary. I had a great time at work with some coworkers from across the pond. Good guys from the U.K., one of which had been working on a project in Spain. He was mortified about how little the Spanish actually worked.

Then he told me how much vacation he gets a year. I laughed, fully expecting he was joking.

35 fucking days. Not sick time, not unpaid leave, 35 full days of vacation a year.

Fuck this I'm moving to Europe.
 

Wierdo

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This is so true it's scary. I had a great time at work with some coworkers from across the pond. Good guys from the U.K., one of which had been working on a project in Spain. He was mortified about how little the Spanish actually worked.

Then he told me how much vacation he gets a year. I laughed, fully expecting he was joking.

35 fucking days. Not sick time, not unpaid leave, 35 full days of vacation a year.

Fuck this I'm moving to Europe.


Work smarter not harder yep, been to Germany and I gotta say, those guys seem to be so efficient: Streets were pretty clean, people looked so healthy, and you could set your watch on the bus schedules.

And now free college education even for international students, it's getting mighty tempting to find a job in the area, have more time to exercise and spend with family.
 

LordCalin

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This is so true it's scary. I had a great time at work with some coworkers from across the pond. Good guys from the U.K., one of which had been working on a project in Spain. He was mortified about how little the Spanish actually worked.

Then he told me how much vacation he gets a year. I laughed, fully expecting he was joking.

35 fucking days. Not sick time, not unpaid leave, 35 full days of vacation a year.

Fuck this I'm moving to Europe.

Almost all my co-workers are in EU (France, UK, Germany) and yep, it's a crap load of vacation time. Tho that includes weekends as part of the paid time off, so it translates to 5 weeks paid time off.

However they also have way more bank holidays (stat days) then we do aswell.

Working for an EU company (who was willing to treat us the same) was the best decision I ever made, the atmosphere is so much more relaxed, they actually seem to care about the employees, and the amount of time off is wonderful for more time with the family.
 

aShrubbery!

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Almost all my co-workers are in EU (France, UK, Germany) and yep, it's a crap load of vacation time. Tho that includes weekends as part of the paid time off, so it translates to 5 weeks paid time off.

However they also have way more bank holidays (stat days) then we do aswell.

Working for an EU company (who was willing to treat us the same) was the best decision I ever made, the atmosphere is so much more relaxed, they actually seem to care about the employees, and the amount of time off is wonderful for more time with the family.

Whoa, whoa, whoa... hold your expectations though, fellas. There's a caveat...

Don't forget that despite all this, and with the privilege of calling the good ol' US of A your home, you will still have to pay federal taxes to Uncle Sam... AFTER you've paid taxes in your EU country of residence/work. NO EU country does that to their expatriates abroad!

Now that you know... ENJOY!!!
 

kbrickley

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Work smarter not harder yep, been to Germany and I gotta say, those guys seem to be so efficient: Streets were pretty clean, people looked so healthy, and you could set your watch on the bus schedules.

And now free college education even for international students, it's getting mighty tempting to find a job in the area, have more time to exercise and spend with family.

The downside is that although they are one of the most productive nations in the EU, they don't come close to the USA ... the USA has about 3.5 times the population of Germany but our GDP is more than 5 times larger than theirs ... their main advantage is they are not a Superpower so they don't have to maintain a large standing military like the USA ... that allows them to spend more of their GDP on their people
 

nilepez

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Whoa, whoa, whoa... hold your expectations though, fellas. There's a caveat...

Don't forget that despite all this, and with the privilege of calling the good ol' US of A your home, you will still have to pay federal taxes to Uncle Sam... AFTER you've paid taxes in your EU country of residence/work. NO EU country does that to their expatriates abroad!

Now that you know... ENJOY!!!

IT depends on the country, but in most cases you'll owe the difference between what you'd owe in U.S. taxes and what you paid in Foreign Taxes.
If your U.S. taxes would have been 10,000 and you paid 10,000 or more in taxes in France (for example) you'd owe nothing to the U.S.
 

nilepez

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The downside is that although they are one of the most productive nations in the EU, they don't come close to the USA ... the USA has about 3.5 times the population of Germany but our GDP is more than 5 times larger than theirs ... their main advantage is they are not a Superpower so they don't have to maintain a large standing military like the USA ... that allows them to spend more of their GDP on their people

We don't have to maintain the military that we do. We choose to do it.
 

SvenBent

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The EU workers don't even work as much as Americans do. You guys could build your own search engine, oh wait that would take too much WORK.

For those that like pretty graphs

http://www.businessinsider.com/aver...for-americans-vs-the-rest-of-the-world-2013-8

http://www.voxeu.org/article/americans-work-long-and-strange-times

So America is better because people have to work more? I don't know about you but i do prefer to NOT work. I think must people would agree they prefer free time over work hours. and this is a perfect example how America is roughly 50 years behind the rest of the western world because yo sacrifice your people for the mighty companies.

the only western worlds where cable and internet prices goes UP when technology improves and all kinds of handling money and data is done in such and inefficiency and obsolete way.

Its no wonder America works more when i takes 5 days in America to do something that takes 5 mins in proper modern society like.
 

Jagger100

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Everyone is bashing the EU, but at least they actually fine people. Unlike us here in the US when a company makes billions off of illegal charges on a bill they get charged half a million. The company sees that as the cost of doing business. But fine them for billions...that'll get their attention.

The difference here, at least, is that in America government is owned by corporations...so you aren't going to find the people lining your pockets.
You think there aren't benefactors of EU policy guiding EU policy.
 
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